[Live Webinar] World Trade Center- Engineering Ethical Issues in the Design, Construction, and the Investigation of Its Collapse
Intended Audience: All Engineers
Credits: 2 PDH Units
When: Thursday 9/9. 2 – 4 pm EST
We promise you a very special webinar . This is not your ordinary boring ethics webinar. We are very proud to bring this webinar to you.
This Engineering Ethics Webinar on the tragic collapse of the World Trade Center towers first discusses the engineering aspects of design, construction, and the damage due to the planes’ impact and the ensuing fire. Then, Dr. Astaneh summarizes his findings of several weeks he spent in New York, supported by the National Science Foundation, to conduct reconnaissance and collection of perishable data and more than five years of analytical studies of the collapse that followed. The last part of the Webinar will focus on engineering ethics and discuss ethical problems of the investigation of the collapse by a team organized by the American Society of Civil Engineers and funded by FEMA.
Dr. Astaneh spent a year (2001-2002) investigating and documenting the debris from the WTC collapsed towers. Then, in May 2002, he testified before the Committee on Science of the House of Representative of U.S. Congress on his findings. After hearing his testimony, the Committee on Science provided him with the drawings of the WTC Towers so he can continue his studies of the engineering aspects of the collapse. Unfortunately, the drawings of the WTC Towers were and still are, under the seal, with no public access. Having received the drawings, Dr. Astaneh and his team of volunteers spent five years (2002-2007) and more than 4,000 hours performing structural analysis of the impact of airplanes on the north tower. The main conclusion of the studies was that the unique and unusual structural system used in the World Trade Center, which was “Steel Bearing Walls,” without a “framing system” used almost in all buildings, was at the root of the collapse. Because of the thin steel bearing walls, the airplane easily entered the structure almost intact, delivered a large amount of jet fuel to the core of the building, starting a fire that caused the reduction in the strength of the outside Steel Bearing Walls leading to the collapse of the towers.
References and Recommended Further Readings:
- World Trade Center Archives from Professor A. Astaneh, Website containing all of Professor Astaneh’s documents, photos, reports, PowerPoints, and other material he generated for his investigation of the World Trade Center collapse sponsored by the National Science Foundation.
- WTC Steel Wreckage at Claremont Scrapyard Feat. Dr. Astaneh-Asl,
- World Trade Center: Anatomy of the Collapse” (TLC, 2002) on DVD. com.
- Fresh Air’s Terry Gross Interview with Prof. Abolhassan Astaneh-Asl on His WTC Reconnaissance, Public Broadcasting System, 22:13 minutes Audio Broadcast
- WTC Hearing of Committee on Science of U.S. House of Representatives Hearing (with Dr. Astaneh-Asl testifying his findings),
- Code of Ethics for Professional Engineers, by National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE)
- NSPE Ethics Reference Guide
- ASCE Code of Ethics
- Ethics, Technology, and Engineering, a textbook by Ibo van de Poel and Lambèr Royakkers, Wily-Blackwell, 2011.
- Concepts and Cases-Engineering Ethics, a textbook by Charles E. Harris et al., published by Cengage2019.
Date: Thursday. September 9. 2021. Starts: 2 – 4 pm EST
Credits: 2 PDH Units
Upon completion of the course, the student should understand:
- What was the “unusual” structural system of the World Trade Center Towers? It was Steel Bearing Wall.
- What were the Fire Protection Systems in the WTC Towers, and were they adequate?
- Were the exits and staircases in the WTC Towers adequate for timely evacuation in case of a fire?
- Was the structure designed for the impact of a plane, as the designers claimed? It was not.
- Was there any evidence of an explosion or blast, as the conspiracy theorist claims? The answer is not.
- What was the engineering cause of the collapse?
- Would the same towers, designed using a known structural system instead of the unusual Steel Bearing Walls, survive the attack? The answer is yes.
- How the “conflict of interest’’ in the ASCE Building Performance Assessment Team members investigating the performance and tragic September 11, 2001 collapse of the World Trade Center towers prevented finding the actual engineering cause of the collapse.
Special Webinar Instructions
After payment, please visit this webinar page, click “Start Course” and fill out the Webinar Registration Form. You’ll receive email notification and details on how to join the webinar. You will then be able to access the webinar slides, test your system and receive webinar reminders. After completing the webinar requirements, your certificate of completion will be saved and available for download in your profile.
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